Daphne runs into Frasier and Niles at Café Nervosa when buying coffee beans. When she and Eric, a clerk, take an obvious liking to each other, Niles becomes incredibly jealous. Frasier suggests that his obsession means he and Maris are having relationship problems, which Niles admits to. Niles becomes even more frustrated when Daphne sets up a date with Eric, instantly smitten with him. Niles proceeds to ask Frasier for advice on how to spice things up in the bedroom, but his elder brother has nothing. At KACL Frasier consults Roz, who suggests roleplay.
Frasier is awakened late at night when Niles shows up at his door, dressed in a full pirate outfit. When Martin wakes up too, Niles recounts how he left a treasure map in the house for Maris to find and hid in the bedroom closet wearing only an eye-patch (though he wasn't wearing it on his eye at the time). Unfortunately, the upstairs maid found him and started screaming and Maris found them, misunderstood and threw him out. Frasier and Martin have Niles spend the night on the couch in their apartment so he and Maris can work things out the next day. As he is about to fall asleep, Daphne comes home from her date with Eric and kisses him goodnight, causing Niles to start sobbing.
The next morning, Daphne is constantly talking about Eric. Niles announces that Maris has gone to a spa in Arizona to "contemplate the future of [their] marriage from a mud bath". While Frasier suggests intensive couples' counseling, Martin tells him to just let Maris know he loves her and take her out for a dinner. Since their chef has walked out in sympathy with Maris, Daphne offers to cook for them before her own late date with Eric. On the night of the dinner, a thunderstorm is raging over Seattle.
At Niles and Maris' mansion, Daphne arrives, soaked by the rain. Sobbing, she tells him that Eric broke up with her, allegedly because he wanted to commit to his music (though she suspects it was an excuse, having heard his music). Niles then receives a phone call from Maris, who tells him that the storm has grounded her flight. Just afterwards, the storm puts out the electricity.
When Frasier learns that Niles has been left alone with Daphne "in a Gothic mansion on a rainy night", he drives off with Martin, fearing that Niles may succumb to his infatuation and Daphne, heartbroken over her breakup, may let him. Back at the mansion, Niles starts to contemplate the same things and tries to reach Frasier by phone. He and Daphne begin talking relationships. When an old Glockenspiel he and Maris bought on their honeymoon, and which has been broken for years, suddenly reactivates, Niles realizes that he really does love Maris and talks about their relationship, and then he compliments Daphne on her good qualities. As they are in a friendly embrace, Frasier, having gotten out of his car and rushed to the house in the rain, sees them from the patio and cries out. Believing them to have kissed, he is panic-stricken until Daphne sets his mind at rest. He tries to change the mood by suggesting they start a singalong by the piano. He checks up on Niles, who assures him that everything is okay ("Frasier, my Glockenspiel is working again!").
While Frasier, Niles and Daphne are singing and playing the piano, Martin appears outside the patio door and tries to get their attention - and in from the rain.
A play on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, as the episode incorporates numerous elements of The Bard. There may also be aspects of "A Winter's Tale", since that takes its form from a line within the play, "A sad tale's best for winter".
Mid-Winter is of course, technically, December 21 or 22, depending on when the solstice falls.